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Does Anyone Care Anymore??????

By sleepin'dawg ·
This is an excerpt from an article I read quite recently (yesterday) which I couldn't help thinking about overnight. So many of the points being made are valid, all the more so when applied to my own situation both corporate and personal. Lately, for one reason or another, so many of my corporate decisions have been made based on the performance of the globalization of the economy and I have been becoming increasingly aware of the potential for disaster and upheaval in the markets a la September - October 1987. We are overdue for a market correction and when it comes, so many will lose huge sums from their portfolios and IRAs unless they have found some way of positioning themselves to ride out the storm with minimal losses. There will be all sorts of opportunities to acquire investments on the cheap, in the aftermath but one can't be expected to do so if they are struggling to retain some modicum of their asset values. It gives me no pleasure in being a harbinger of doom but its better to be prepared and have a plan in place and not need it than to need some sort of plan and not have it.

From my own personal observations we've been overdue for one of those catastrophic market corrections for some time now and while these things can't be forecast with any degree of absolute accuracy I see it hitting somewhere in or after October of this year but before the same period in 2007. The markets may not correct all together but rather in a cascading effect of sector by sector but the end result could well be anywhere from 2000 to 4000 points net loss to the Dow and the corresponding indices of all the other markets including China's. The current state of the overheated Chinese economy could make them the first to slip but they should be and probably will be the first to recover. The dollar will decline further and nationwide unemployment could rise well into the double digits, approaching 15% and perhaps even 20%. As I said, does anyone care??? Is anyone even aware???


Does anybody in America care that freedom, liberty and privacy are being diluted, diminished and destroyed? Or that government is running up some of the biggest deficits in annual spending, foreign trade and national debt ever recorded? Or that America has become a de facto world empire that may already be in decline?

Kevin Phillips' new book, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, puts together an amazing array of historical, religious, economic and political data to argue that the U.S. is about to join its imperial predecessors on the downhill slide - Rome, Spain, the Netherlands and Britain.

Phillips says the alarming signs are everywhere from the desperate attempt to retain oil sources by invading Iraq; to the "theocrats" seizing the Republican Party; to the evolution of the U.S. economy in which the production of valuable, manufactured goods has been replaced by a massive funny-money system of finance and, most ominously, government and private debt.

The scope of this book is massive and his analysis reads like a warning. Phillips sketches a future bankrupted nation by a web of religious, energy and debt that leaves America, the world's remaining superpower, all but helpless before emerging powers such as China, well before 2050.

An examination of empires in world history (Rome, Spain, Holland, and the United Kingdom), shows an identifiable progression from expansion, to dominance, to maturity and to what seems like inevitable decline. In that latter stage, governments and most people rarely see what's coming. Those who do can profit from their foresight.

Phillips traces the imperial journeys of each of these empire nations. He goes back centuries and compares those historic events to the current situation in the United States, the present world imperial power.

Phillips examines many aspects of each nation's imperial progress, politics, economics, religion, industry, finance and war. As he says: "The United States is hardly the first [empire] and we can profit from the examples of what went wrong before." There's a lot of arresting facts and figures in this book, although I don't agree with all of the author's conclusions. But you will come away fascinated with these disturbing past parallels -- and what they may portend for America's future.

It's an eye opener -- and it's not a pretty picture for Uncle Sam and Americans, sad to say.


Phillips notes that two economic predictors of imperial end times are: 1) marked declines in a nation's manufacturing and industrial capacity and; 2) an increase in what he calls "financialization" as all sorts of intangible financial services replace tangible production.

In 1950, 30% of U.S. GDP came from industry and only 10.9 from financial services. In a reversal, 2003 U.S. industrial production amounted to only 12.7% of GDP and financial services had grown to 20.4%. Even more telling, in 2005, 45% of all corporate profits came from financial services and only 7% from manufacturing. And as Phillips shows, a lot of these modern "financial services" consist of little more then creating new forms of debt, then pushing all those debt papers around while collecting fees for doing nothing really productive.

In the declining years of the Spanish, Dutch and British empires, virtually the same patterns developed as we now see in the United States. Similarities with the current dilemma of the U.S. include a huge national debt, major and continued deficit spending, worrisome huge trade imbalances and a decline in the value of the imperial nation's currency.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? And yet another reason to consider offshore as the place for your financial haven.

Speaking of debt, borrowing and "financialization". There has lately been a lot of activity in the derivatives markets. Massive and/or a collection of minor hiccups there, have preceded all recent market turmoil of the past and with the current levels of activity. they are an accident looking and waiting for a place and chance to happen. Grab ahold of your wallets and purses, we're all going to be in for a rough ride. Some of us will get through better than others but here's to the peers of TR enduring.

Dawg ]:)

P.S. I've read the book, referred to. It is a good read for anyone even though they may have no interest in the markets and don't dabble in investments.

Edited for spelling, punctuation and additional clarity.

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Tig- One of the most difficult things two people in a ................

by sleepin'dawg In reply to Not trying to be obtuse

relationship can do is to dicuss finances and arrive at an agreed upon division before establishing any formalized arrangements. I have seen relationships founder on those very shoals. If you have some serious questions confounding you, feel free to pm me; while touchy about my privacy I promise not to render you asunder with a 1AW type of response. If you are asking sincere questions I will endeavour to provide sincere responses.

I don't hesitate in the sharing of my information because many others provided me with information while I was acquiring what I have. I am a big believer in what goes around, comes around. You may one day be in my position and be in a position to provide helpful information to someone else struggling to protect themselves and establish financial independence. If that day should come I would hope that you would remember this and pass it on. The world can be a schitty place at times and when you pass on a chance to help someone, it only makes it a little bit more schitty. I mean this in an informational sense not from a monetary viewpoint.

Charity is more often than not counterproductive; solid, informed and intelligent information is the real gold. Knowledge really is power, and while it can sometimes be mind-numbing, it really isn't rocket science.

Dawg ]:)

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But sometimes it is just fun to watch someone go under..

by jdclyde In reply to Tig- One of the most diff ...



I can think of a certain person that used to be in my life that is just digging a deeper and deeper hole with her whole life. Retirement? Not going to happen for that one!

She STILL is focusing her life around her blazer with a bluebook value of 10K and a loan payoff of 22K (that she was just in an accident with, her fault). Now she is talking about wanting a Harley. Too friggen funny.

Here latest boyfriend (I only refer to him as trey because he is number three, no matter who I am talking to ]:) ) is a "laid off trucker". Sorry, but in Michigan, the only truckers that aren't working are the ones that aren't any good. (oh this is fun to watch). He will run for the hills once he finds out her level of debt. At the time of the split, her debt level was right around 70K. (real smart time to leave, huh? :^0 )

While I don't approve of her dragging a train of guys in and out of the boys lives (and Thing Two did start having anger issues about the time she was taking the boys and spending the weekend at a different guys place. Connection? oh yeah.)

So in almost every case, I agree with what you have said about helping people and reminding them to later on help others. Makes the world a better place. This one is too much fun to watch go under. What was the old show, lady is over the side of the boat yelling for a lifesaver, so the guy throws her a piece of candy? ;\

"Best revenge, is to do better without that person than you did with that person." - a wise sage! B-)

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In the words of Spock

by sleepin'dawg In reply to But sometimes it is just ...

Live long and prosper He should have added the kicker; It's the ultimate revenge Judging by my ex-wifes reaction whenever we meet, I know this is true.

This, however, underlines my reasons of separation of finances. Each partner should contribute to the support of the household but each should maintain their own exclusive financial situation in complete and total confidence.

You, better than most, can understand why.

Dawg ]:)

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I second that!

by Tig2 In reply to In the words of Spock

I find myself in the odd position of being perceived as the potential "bad person" in my relationship because he makes marginally more $$ than I do and for reasons of proximity, we live in his residence, not mine. His accounts are significantly more healthy than mine but we had VERY different agendas- his was to prepare for retirement, mine was centered around LIVING to retirement. But it puts me in the position of doing everything I can to protect him from me.

Kinda bites- we both strongly believe that this will be the last personal relationship that either of us enter in to.

And Dawg- we handle it in just the way you describe- His is his, mine is mine, the household benefits from each of us equally. This is not a problem.

Where I get confounded is that I have expended a mass of energy and $$ on living to retirement age- there is a real chance that I will do so. But I am still frightfully exposed and can't really save without the potential of losing everything.

I am still wading through the wealth of information you passed along and trying to determine how best to proceed within the limitations that I have to manage to. I feel it only fair that if I ask questions, they be intellegent questions.

The best revenge is living well. That will do for now.

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There are no stupid questions but a lot of stupid answers.

by sleepin'dawg In reply to In the words of Spock

If you really feel the need don't be afraid to ask. At the moment I've gone and done something wierd to my back, so I won't be straying too far afield, for the moment. I can think of worse thing to do than answer your questions, so feel free to send me a pm and ask as many questions as you would like. I'll do my best to give you intelligent answers if I can and if I can't I will probably be able to point you in the direction to where you can find the answers.

Dawg ]:)

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Just be careful Tig

by jdclyde In reply to In the words of Spock

What ever you do, don't be TOO nice to the dawg! Especially early in the morning! :0 ;\

Just throw him a biscuit and he will be nice!



"Now remember students, there are no stupid questions, Only stupid people". - Mr Garison
:^0

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And I thought the saying was..

by maecuff In reply to In the words of Spock

There are no stupid answers, just inquisitive idiots.

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Laid off trucker?

by Too Old For IT In reply to But sometimes it is just ...

I heard some tlaking head the other day with a stat that the trucking industry, on average, has 130% turnover, and something north of 5% of the rolling stock parked on any given day due to lack of drivers.

One would think that some serious changes to the pay and work/lifestyle balance would be in order there.

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Extremely high burnout in that field

by jdclyde In reply to Laid off trucker?

Long hours on the road, being away from friends and families if you are a long-haul trucker, and lots of stress depending on your load.

And I have talked to several truckers AND people that hire truckers. The only drivers that are not working are the ones that either do not WANT to work OR the ones that CAN'T work because of points, drugs, drinking, or just a bad employee.

It is too early to tell which this clown is, but I think I will be talking to my lawyer to find out if they guy has a crimial record. Freedom of information act, I love you! I would do a background check of each and every guy she drags in front of my boys.

The pay is good, so that is not the factor of the burnout.

I also don't know (yet) if he is an independent or if he is teamster.

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laid off trucker

by jdclyde In reply to Laid off trucker?

and because of who he is with, he is now a LAID laid-off trucker! :^0

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